• Maps that changed the world

    July 15, 2010  |  Mapping

    Be on guard russian map

    Peter Barber, head of Map Collections at the British Library reports for the The Daily Mail ten of the greatest maps that changed the world. The number one listed (above) is Be On Guard! from 1921:

    The infant USSR was threatened with invasion, famine and social unrest. To counter this, brilliant designers such as Dimitri Moor were employed to create pro-Bolshevik propaganda.

    Using a map of European Russia and its neighbours, Moor's image of a heroic Bolshevik guard defeating the invading 'Whites' helped define the Soviet Union in the Russian popular imagination.

    Others include Google Earth, Charles Booth's map of London poverty, and the earliest known Chinese terrestrial globe from 1623.

    [via @krees]

  • Path to happiness gets complicated and confusing

    July 14, 2010  |  Infographics

    Lifelong hapiness flowchart, extended

    Just when you thought the path to lifelong happiness was uber simple and you had it all figured out, someone slaps you in the face and complicates things. The nerve. [Thanks, Dustin]

  • Gapminder makes its way to the desktop

    July 13, 2010  |  Software, Statistical Visualization

    Gapminder Desktop

    You've seen the presentation. You've seen the motion graph tool. But up until now, the data exploration tool, Trendalyzer, has always been in the browser. Now you can download the desktop version, and keep everything on your own computer with Gapminder Desktop:

    Gapminder Desktop is particularly useful for presentations as it allows you to prepare your graphs in advance and you won’t need an Internet connection at your lecture or presentation.

    In the "list of graphs" you will get at preset list of graphs on the left side, but you can also very easily create your own favorite examples. Simply arrange the graph the way you want it and click “bookmark this graph”. Your example will the appear in your own list of favorite graphs. Perfect when you want to prepare a lecture or presentation.

    Basically, it's the exact same thing as the online version as an Adobe Air application, which is handy for all you motion graph fans out there.
    Continue Reading

  • How data travels from phone to computer

    July 13, 2010  |  Infographics

    How a file is transferred

    Time Warner Cable explains how a picture travels from Jeff's phone to Vijay's laptop. Obviously it is a bit simplified. I spent a full semester on step four alone back in my electrical engineering days, and still don't know what the heck happens there. That was a rough semester.

  • Flowchart to lifelong happiness

    July 9, 2010  |  Infographics

    Are you happy flowchart

    The secret to lifelong happiness. If only it were so easy. [Typcut via swissmiss]

  • Flowchart shows the startup business cycle

    July 8, 2010  |  Infographics

    HackFwd Blueprint

    Technology and investment group HackFwd describes what it's like to work with them in a flowchart. In a nutshell: start with inspiration, work hard, impress people, work hard, and reap the rewards. And then start all over again.

  • Augmented reality taken to the extreme

    July 8, 2010  |  Data Art

    Augmented (hyper)reality

    Augmented reality, a computer trick to place the virtual within the real world, has barely cracked its way into most of our lives, but it's easy to see how such a tool could get out of hand. At some point, we're going to have to raise our hands and say, "Okay, stop that's enough information. My head hurts." Or will we? Recent architecture grad Keiichi Matsuda explores the possibility of an augmented (hyper)reality where information is everywhere you go (video below). Continue Reading

  • How Britain has changed since 1997

    July 7, 2010  |  Statistical Visualization

    How Britain has changed in the past decade

    Prospect Magazine takes a look at how Britain has changed by the numbers from 1997 to present:

    Richer, fatter, living longer, more indebted, drunker, better connected, politically disillusioned: there’s no metric that can describe whether we are happier or living better lives after 13 years of Labour. But there are plenty to show how we have changed during a period of fulsome spending, borrowing and technological transformation.

    The four pages of graphics are well-organized with just the right balance of color and iconography, to keep the reader engaged without going oatmeal on the numbers.

  • JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit 2.0 released

    July 6, 2010  |  Software, Statistical Visualization

    the Jit treemap example

    Visualization in JavaScript is all the rage these days. Just a couple of years ago, this would've seemed ridiculous because the engines were too slow, but no more of that. To that end, Nicolas Garcia Belmonte just released his JavaScript InfoVis Toolkit 2.0. It's got your treemaps, stacked area charts, pie charts, weighted graph, so on and so forth. You can see all the demos, plus code examples to get the full picture.

    This is not dissimilar to Protovis from the Stanford visualization group. Although, I'm told the JIT is fully functioning in Internet Explorer. Protovis only partly works in IE right now.

  • Top World Cup players on Facebook

    July 5, 2010  |  Infographics

    World Cup on Facebook

    I always know when something exciting happens in the World Cup when my Facebook stream is flooded with announcements of a goooooooaaaal. On any given day, certain players are more talked about than others. The New York Times explores the day-to-day fluctuations of player mentions in Facebook status updates. Continue Reading

  • Geography of Lost island

    July 2, 2010  |  Mapping

    Geography of LOST

    GIS guy Jonah Adkins maps the geography of Lost (the tv series). It looks like I missed out on quite a bit. Unfortunately, I only got up to the point in the first season where they saw a dead person hanging in a tree. I could not deal with all the insane cliffhangers.

    I'm sure many of you were fans though, so you can stare at the maps for a while to temporarily fill the gaping hole in your life since the show ended.

    [via We Love Datavis]

  • Challenge: What is a FIFA player’s worth?

    July 2, 2010  |  Discussion, Infographics

    What is a player's worth?

    I really want to like this graphic on the "worth" of FIFA players. The colors pop and the topic is potentially interesting. There are some graphics 101 pitfalls going on here though. How can you make this display better? Leave your two cents in the comments below.

    [via We Love Datavis]

  • Mapping what your neighborhood used to look like

    July 1, 2010  |  Mapping

    Getting young and old to hang out

    In part of their initiative to get young and old people to hang out, We Are What We Do, in collaboration with Google, built Historypin. The map application invites people to upload their pictures and pin them in street view. The effort creates something of a digital time machine where old and young can find common ground.

    Obviously, the more people who use it, the more useful it becomes. There doesn't seem to be ton of pictures yet, so all you get is Google street view in a lot of places.

    It's easy to see the potential though. Just imagine being able to watch the evolution of your city, town, or neighborhood, like a block-specific museum with people's personal stories and old photos with modern context.

    [via infosthetics]

  • Who participates online, by age

    July 1, 2010  |  Infographics

    What people are doing online

    Arno Ghelfi for Businessweek reports on who's doing what online, separated by age. The grid aesthetic totally works for the Internet theme, which can feel robotic and bit-wise at times.

    From top to bottom are the more active users to the more passive. Age groups run left to right. So as we sweep top left to bottom right, we see the younger generation who is more likely to write blogs and upload videos to YouTube, to an older crowd who are more likely to be content consumers.

    Update: Doh, this is from 2007. This cross-country move is throwing me out of wack. Oh well, it's still an interesting piece of Internet history.

  • Modern history of human communication

    June 30, 2010  |  Infographics

    Modern History of Human Communication (infographic)

    With the announcement of Google Voice for everyone, the big G describes the history of human communication in the graphic above - and consequently, how Voice is the next step in the evolution. We begin with the tin cans in 1810, to the telephone in 1876, then the first email in 1971, and tada, we arrive at Google Voice in the present. Average international call cost per minute serves as the backdrop.

    I gotta get me one of those vintage mobile phones of 1979.

    [via]

  • Facts and figures of London life

    June 30, 2010  |  Data Art

    24 hours in London

    Field Design takes a look at a day in London:

    LDN24 is a new public art installation for the Museum of London. It draws filmic impressions and the facts and figures of London life into a picture of 24 hours in the life of the city. Statistics and statements from the web and a huge database are printed along the LED screen by the seconds' hand of a 24 hours clock. Weather, traffic and news updates, the Thames' tides, Tube updates and recent fire incidents are pulled live from numerous RSS feeds, Twitter and news portals.

    I can easily see myself standing there entranced by the display for a long while - if I were from London. What I really want is a big circular display like for a day in the life of Nathan.
    Continue Reading

  • Imported World Cup players

    June 29, 2010  |  Network Visualization

    multicultural sports

    The World Cup is an event where countries from all over the world compete, but what about the teams themselves? Players may play for a single country, but many are 'imported' from elsewhere in the world as their day jobs are actually elsewhere. This isn't a new thing, but teams have certainly become more multicultural over the years. Continue Reading

  • Texting volume during World Cup matches

    June 29, 2010  |  Infographics

    Texting volume time series

    I love how major sporting events can captivate an entire country or region, especially when there's the data to show the collective pulse. We saw it during the Canada-United States hockey gold medal match. Everyone flushed together. Similarly, O2, a UK mobile service provider, shows us texting volume during the World Cup and highlights the points of interest. England scores a goal and there's a flood of text messages. Goooal. Continue Reading

  • Education crisis explained in motion graphics

    June 28, 2010  |  Infographics

    Education crisis in motion graphics

    Buck, in collaboration with TakePart and An Inconvenient Truth director, Davis Guggenheim, describe the education crisis in America in motion graphics for upcoming documentary, Waiting for "Superman". Watch the video below. It's a more or less a run of education vitals, but it flows well and has a nice look and feel.

    Plus, it's an important subject we should know about. Maybe a new movement will get going once education gets the "inconvenient" treatment.
    Continue Reading

  • Music animation machine

    June 25, 2010  |  Data Art

    Debussy, Clair de lune

    Anyone can listen to music, but how can you see it? The Music Animation Machine plays music (ancient MIDI files) and displays it in real-time. On the vertical are notes and time runs on the horizontal. Here's Debussy's classic Clair de lune, otherwise known as that song from the Ocean's 11 through 13 soundtrack, where they all gather at the fountain and give a nod of recognition to each other. Continue Reading

Unless otherwise noted, graphics and words by me are licensed under Creative Commons BY-NC. Contact original authors for everything else.